Our ideas, thoughts, beliefs, learnings and philosophies on Gender, Violence, Social Media, Youth. And yes, Campaigning…
Through this blogathan, all of us are trying to find a solution to the age-old problem of violence against women. While we all are trying to focus on a man’s involvement in eradicating gender violence, I feel the first step needs to come from women itself.
I’d like to quote a friend’s experience here who’s working in a renowned company as a senior executive. Ruchi had worked hard to achieve where she is today. A couple of years back, one of her bosses, tried to make sexual advancement towards her. It all started with subtle hints and though she tried to ignore him initially, his behavior became extremely inappropriate. He started passing lewd comments to her over phone.
Pursuing science in standards XIth and XIIth at a reasonably popular sort of public-school in the national capital – seven girls amongst thirty six boys.
Pursuing Bachelors in Technology at a UGC-supported and state-managed University in the national capital – eleven young women amongst ninety seven young men.
I am again on the writing table.. after many weeks.. months in fact.. usually it takes a trigger to get me started and this time it was the circumstances of the situation. I have lived my whole life in the city that is most harsh to women, and I am not at all proud of it. It makes me think that again I am put at periphery and not part of the world I exist in. This feeling probably resonates with many who have lived life watching things happen to them... decision made for them rather being the one who is making the decision, always expected to adjust and compromise because that is the ideal. I think that it is not fair to either of sexes. After all why cannot men be sensitive and women brutal - why is that freedom not allowed to either.
Just about 60 years ago, showing off skin was not even a legal concept; it was illegal for women to show their skin more than their legs and arms. By this I am referring to first world countries. Swim wear for women were gigantic dresses. But as the there was rise of feminism, women were appealing for their rights not only in fields like english literature, but also in the physical world. Now showing off legs and arms was legal, swim wear at beach was also showing off an adequate amount of skin. Out of this historical happening the main stream that was important to us is that there was a "restriction". Yeah its a controversial word, and sentiments are hurt with this word if we leave behind the whole chapter of how illegal it was. Girls were getting arrested for showing skin, but because their was a clear difference between the “decent” and “non-decent” girls (by this I mean sex workers off-course). This all created a hindrance or fear in the mind of decent girls to not show skin. This is the same concept prevalent here in the India.
It was a very normal day at work. Normal for me, but it would perhaps become the most horrendous day of her life for another woman, my colleague. At first I was clueless as to why she was crying. But after a couple of days of her absence from work, some girls whispered to me, that some one had actually posted her a mail containing a morphed picture of her on a body of a nude.
What does one say about violence? We can have everyday conversations on why it should end and how debilitating it is. We redefine violence and exhort people to stand up and say no. Is “NO” a difficult word? Is an ending of violence as utopian as everyone makes it seem?
I do not think so.
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